Xavier Martinez out-slugs Juan Carlos Burgos; wins unanimous decision
Xavier Martinez (16-0, 11ko) is a rising junior lightweight currently ranked #2 by the WBA. He had an amateur record of 85-10 before turning pro at the age of 17 in Tijuana, Mexico. He was signed to Mayweather promotions that same year in June 2016. In October 2020, the young prospect was severely tested in a step-up fight against tough Dominican veteran fighter Claudia Marrero. Marrero lost to both title contenders Kid Galahad and Tugstsogt Nyambayar. Martinez had to overcome adversity by getting up off the canvas twice in the eighth round and showed a lot of heart, fighting strong over the last four rounds en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Juan Carlos Burgos (34-4-2, 21ko) is another tough veteran fighter from Mexico. He has fought for titles in both, the featherweight and junior lightweight divisions, against champions such as Hozumi Hasegawa, Roman Martinez, Mikey Garcia and then contender Devin Haney in September 2018. Burgos would lose all of his high profile fights. Still, he has never been stopped and, at 33-years old, is still capable of pulling off an upset, if taken lightly.
A less than spectacular opening round would see Burgos come forward attempting to apply pressure. To the credit of Martinez, he would keep his composure. In doing so, he would time and counter Burgos with some sneaky, quick right hands. Rounds two and three would see a major uptick in action!
The following rounds would be fought in close quarters, as Burgos pushed Martinez back onto the ropes. Unfortunately for him, while he did land some solid shots of his own, it was Martinez who was landing the harder, cleaner shots. The right and left hands from Martinez would temporarily stop Burgos in his tracks.
Watching this Martinez v Burgos fight, it is clear that neither man ever considered defense! The offensive action in the middle rounds was nothing short of entertaining. Burgos dug consistently to the body, and Martinez would do nothing but headhunt. Round six would be a battle of two halves. The first portion of the round was all Martinez who was quick to the punch. Burgos would storm back, throwing hard combinations to the head and body of his unbeaten opponent.
The latter part of the fight was Fight of the Year worthy. Both men let their hands fly with bad intentions for their opponent. The body work from Burgos was impressive but did not seem to faze Martinez even in the late stages of the fight. The two men would close the show trading big shots until, and beyond, the bell.
At 33 years old, Burgos showed that he still has some gas left in the tank, if he chooses to continue his career. For Martinez, he showed he has the ability to be a legitimate contender for a long time. His solid power, counter-punching ability and solid skills will make him a tough out for many fighters at junior lightweight.
At the end, Martinez would be announced as the winner, winning the fight by way of a unanimous decision (99-91 on three cards). The fans booed the decision as Burgos won more than the one round the judges scored for him. Xavier Martinez improves his record to 17-0, 11 KOs. This win pushes him closer to a possible title shot in the near future.
By: Jerrell Fletcher